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Buttered Popcorn Jelly Belly Jelly Bean Turns 25 Years Old

FAIRFIELD, CALIF., June 17, 2014­­ -- When the Buttered Popcorn Jelly Belly® jelly bean was introduced 25 years ago, it was celebrated as the world’s first savory jelly bean flavor. Its warm notes of butter and salt combined with a touch of inherent jelly bean sweetness resonated with candy lovers, and it rose quickly to the top of favorite flavor lists everywhere. Today, it is the second most popular Jelly Belly bean flavor, following Very Cherry.

For as many Buttered Popcorn fans there are out there, there seem to be just as many people who are not fond of this savory taste.

Jelly Belly Buttered Popcorn jelly beans turn 25 this year. Flavor controversies abound at Jelly Belly: Licorice, Juicy Pear, Watermelon; seems no flavor is immune to some amount of a difference in opinions. The vigor with which Buttered Popcorn lovers and haters argue about the flavor is without equal.

“Our fans are vehement about Buttered Popcorn,” said Rob Swaigen, vice president of marketing for Jelly Belly Candy Company. “They either love it and can’t live without it, or they don’t care for it and want it to go away.”

Why so controversial? Jelly Belly thinks it comes down to a core component of the flavor: the flavor is more savory than sweet.

“When we developed Buttered Popcorn, we didn’t use a lot of sweetness,” says Ambrose Lee, director of flavor development, and the food scientist who created the flavor 25 years ago. “We had to focus on the buttery flavor and salt. Because it’s a jelly bean, there’s still that touch of sweetness to it. I think many people either like that touch of sweetness to the savory or they reject it.”

To celebrate the infamously savory and sweet flavor, Jelly Belly Visitor Centers in California and Wisconsin are including Buttered Popcorn tastings at their June summer events. Guests who visited the California location on June 14-15th and guests visiting the Wisconsin visitor center June 26-29th can enjoy a tasting of Buttered Popcorn Jelly Belly beans, and other inspired treats, like fudge and taffy. 

When Buttered Popcorn debuted, it proved candy doesn’t have to play by the rules. Innovation and flavor experimentation can be welcomed surprises. Buttered Popcorn’s enduring fan base is evidence of this, despite “haters’” calling for its banishment from the candy world. Today, with more than 100 flavors sold in more than 80 countries, there’s truly something for everyone. 

Jelly Belly beans contain four calories per bean and are fat free, peanut free, dairy free, gluten free, gelatin free vegetarian and OU Kosher certified. For information, visit www.jellybelly.com. Consumers may contact Jelly Belly Consumer Affairs at (800) 522-3267, and retailers may contact Customer Service at (800) 323-9380. Connect with us on Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest and Google+.


Tags: Jelly Belly News, Company News, Buttered Popcorn, Jelly Belly jelly beans, 25th Anniversary,